So I have to pay more…?

As the cost of living is increasing, students who live in the dorms on campus will feel the pain in their wallets beginning in the fall of 2007.

The three most popular meal plans increasing by $80 per semester, an increase of 7.14 percent.

The cost of meal plans range from $300-$1,220 per semester and beginning in the Fall, students will have the option of purchasing one of the two new meal plans-50 meals plus $100 bonus plan for $400 and $25 meals plus bonus plan for $300.

According to Aramark, the reason for the raise in cost is a result of the increased costs of operations, inflation and the increase of bonus purchases. As the five-meal plan is increasing from $636 to $654, the bonuses are also increasing from $100 to $150.

A freshman at SHSU is required to purchase a meal plan for two semesters, or the equivalent of one academic year. For students who are not freshmen, single semester contracts can be purchased.

On the meal plans, students can dine at their choice of either Cafe Belvin or at Tortilla Fresca at SouthPaw during their regular operating hours.

To receive prepaid meals, students must bring their student ID or have a Bearkat Express account, available through their Sam ID. Bearkat Express is an account where students can deposit money into and make purchases at on-campus food venues such as: Cafe Belivn, PawPrint or SouthPaw.

In addition to increased meal plans, the cost of living in dorms has also increased. This past week, the Board of Regents approved a 10 percent increase in rent for all on-campus housing units.

Students who are living at Bearkat Village should expect a hiked rate of $45, pushing monthly payments to $495.

“I don’t want them to increase rent,” said Bearkat Village resident, Stefanie Meyer. “Things are already tight enough. $45 more a month is a lot of money.”

Reasons for the increase include a 26 percent increase in utilities and extra surcharges from the Entergy Company. Another noted reason is the increasing fees from Visa/Mastercard.

With eight large halls, 17 small houses, four sorority houses and one on campus apartment complex, prices range from $1,352 to $2,228 per semester. A 26 percent increase will bring the per semester total from $1,703.52 to $2,807.28.

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